MYSTERY - MB number and plate

This mystery has I think been partly solved. The data plate is on an ex-french army Willys MB jeep and is located on the panel in front of the radiator. It contains the following information:

MARQUE     : WILLYS
TYPE           : MB
CHASSIS     : 14142
PVA              : 0452

There is also a triangle containing the letters AOT possibly ACT

The jeep is definitely ex-french army and an MB. The plate was certainly on the jeep when it was last repainted french army green. There are traces of this left in the lettering (see below)

Thanks to Francis Budts for providing information about the plate. PVA is a plate from Belgium issued by the Ministry of Trasnsport. In Flemish speaking Belgium the plate would have PVG stamped on it, PVA is from French speaking Belgium. The plate would have been fixed to the jeep when it was first registered in Belgium and the chassis number taken from the documentation. The actual PVA number refers to a type of vehicle so PVA 0452 is presumably a Willys jeep. It would appear that whoever first registered the jeep (dealer or owner) painted it French army green and in doing so added to the mystery of the plate.

So part of the mystery is solved but the chassis number is too low to be a true Willys MB chassis number. It is not the only example of a french army MB jeep with a low chassis number (i.e. less than 100000). I know of at least one other which is apparently MB 01635 and has had this stamped where the army number would be on a Hotchkiss. Again, this other example is certainly a Willys chassis and there is no Hotchkiss serial number!

It is possible that it is really an ITM chassis number but there was no evidence of an ITM number stamped where it should be. Solving the rest of this mystery could help to explain why there are apparently a number of duplicates in the army number series for M201 jeeps.

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